A Glug of Oil

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Arancini - ActiFry Recipe

Mozzarella and Red Pesto Arancini Balls are so easy to make, especially in the Tefal ActiFry - Air Fryer.

Arancini Balls

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Follow my step-by-step recipe on how to make arancini and you can't go wrong.

I made this a good while back for the Tefal Slimmers Secret Challenge since this is a far healthier way of making arancini as there's no deep-frying involved.

Serve with a lovely pepperonata sauce along with a few baby salad leaves.

Arancini air fryer

To make these in a regular air fryer it would be far easier to use leftover risotto and make the arancini balls as shown in the recipe card below.

Then since a regular air fryer doesn't have a paddle just air fry as per the recipe.

What are arancini balls?

Italian snacks consisting of a ball of rice coated with bread crumbs and then deep-fried and are a staple of Sicilian cuisine.

My ActiFry version is far healthier. The most common fillings are al ragù or al sugo, filled with ragù, mozzarella and/or caciocavallo cheese. I chose mozzarella and red pesto.

Now the red pesto was shop-bought otherwise this dish becomes a little too much faff so relieve yourself of too much faffing and buy a jar!

Just be sure to get a good brand. You can buy panko crumbs in the UK in any good supermarket or over at Amazon if you can't get them.

It's such a shame I haven't got a picture of the arancini when it was cut open since the filling is a gooey and oozy delicious thing to see and tasted amazing!😊

How do you pronounce arancini?

Arancini is pronounced A-Ruhn-See-Ny

If you have a Tefal ActiFry and like Arancini then you really ought to give this a go. You can of course just use leftover risotto and bake them in the oven.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

arancini recipe, how to make arancini, arancini balls, rice balls Italian,
Yield: Makes 12
Author: Jan Bennett
Arancini Recipe - Air Fryer - ActiFry

Arancini Recipe - Air Fryer - ActiFry

Mozzarella and Red Pesto Arancini are so good! Serve with a simple pepperonata and a few baby salad leaves.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 H & 50 MInactive time: 15 MinTotal time: 2 H & 15 M


  • 2 x Knorr chicken stock cubes - dissolved in 900 ml of boiling water
  • 50g unsalted butter - cubed
  • 1 medium-sized onion - finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - peeled and very finely chopped
  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 40g Parmesan - grated
  • Flat leaf parsley – enough to make 1 ½ tbs
  • 100g buffalo mozzarella - cut into small cubes
  • Jar of red pesto
To Coat the Arancini
  • Plain Flour (approx. 100g)
  • 2 large Free Range Eggs
  • Panko Crumbs (approx. 150g)
  • Frylight Sunflower Oil (spray bottle)


To make the Risotto
  1. Add the butter and onions to the ActiFry and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Now add the rice and garlic and set to cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add 400ml hot stock and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add another 400ml and cook for a further 12-15 minutes.
  5. Check the rice is cooked. If needed add the remaining stock and cook for a further 4-5 minutes then stir in the chopped parsley and the Parmesan.
  6. Spread the risotto onto a tray and pop it into the fridge to cool completely; takes about 15 minutes.
  7. Allow time for the ActiFry to cool and to be cleaned so approx.15 mins.
  8. Get a plate ready to put the Arancini rice balls onto once they are made.
  9. Line up 3 bowls: one for the flour, one for the egg and one for the panko crumbs.
  10. Wet your hands and take a small amount of the cold risotto and make a cup shape using your thumb to press down into your hand.
  11. Add a cube of Mozzarella and a small amount of pesto. Take another piece of rice and place it on top to cover the filling.
  12. Roll into a ball and set aside. Repeat to make each rice ball. Now roll each ball into the flour and coat well.
  13. Then roll into the egg and then coat in the panko crumbs.
IMPORTANT - Remove the paddle from the ActiFry.
  1. Spray with oil taking care not to spray oil into the centre part of the ActiFry.
  2. Spray the Arancini balls with oil and pop them into the ActiFry.
  3. Cook 6 balls at a time for 6 minutes then carefully turn each one and cook for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. Spray with a little more oil if you think they need it.
  5. Check the temperature so you know if the mozzarella inside has become molten (62 °C)
  6. Serve immediately or keep warm while you cook the rest.


If you make the risotto the day before the recipe will be far easier since you need the risotto to be cold anyway to make the arancini.

Did you make this recipe?
@aglugofoil # aglugofoil


  1. Love Arancini balls. So happy to find this recipe. Do you use the paddle in the first part of recipe and just not in the cooking of the balls.

    1. Hi yes, to make the rissoto which needs the paddle to stir and then remove the paddle to cook the arancini.


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